Acommunity-wide effort is credited for bringing New Hampshire’s Mount Eustis back into operation this season with a novel business plan: free skiing and snowboarding for all. Guests must sign a waiver, and the area is suggesting a $5 donation per day.
Mount Eustis operated from 1939 to 1979, when tough snow years and increasing insurance costs forced it to cease operation. Local volunteers, led by Dave Harkless, owner of Littleton Bike Shop, began raising funds necessary to reopen the area two years ago. Nearly $30,000 has been raised so far.
The area opened Feb. 7, with 350 vertical feet serviced by a rope tow, and with a warming hut donated by Home Depot. Workers acquired parts from a rope tow in Lisbon, N.H., that was owned by the Lisbon Lions Club, and a new engine was installed. A groomer was donated by Bretton Woods, and operators say they are looking to add lights for night skiing. Snowmaking could also be added in a few years.